MIDDLE ISLAND, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A 35-year-old financial analyst from California has come forward to claim his winnings from the largest lottery jackpot in Long Island history.
Daniel Bruckner said he was visiting relatives with his wife, Christine, who is from Long Island, when he purchased the winning ticket for the $208 million Mega Millions jackpot at the King Kullen supermarket in Middle Island last month.
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“We needed to get some food for dinner we were making and saw how big the Mega was and decided to get some tickets,” Bruckner said.
Bruckner emptied all $26 in his wallet to play for the huge jackpot.
The winning numbers — 23, 32, 33, 39, 43 and a mega-ball of 8– were chosen via Quick-Pik.
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The couple checked the ticket together two days after Christmas.
“I was reading the ticket on and off again…it’s surreal,” Bruckner said. “I didn’t faint but I can see how people do. It’s all a little fuzzy.”
Bruckner is opting for the jackpot’s lump-sum option which will leave them with $101 million after taxes.
“Obviously we have some bills and school loans we want to pay off. It’s been tough for everybody. The economy hasnt been great and we hope we can find some good charities and benefits where we can do a lot of good with the money,” Bruckner told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.
Christine just lost her job in the mortgage industry. Daniel works in San Jose, Calif. He had been flying back and forth to his wife’s family in Suffolk County, frantic about the ticket.
“My wallet fell out of my pocket on the plane the first time I flew back so I’m glad I put it in a safe deposit box,” he said.
The couple called Long Island the luckiest spot in the world. Locals hhere are urging them to move back home to Suffolk to invest their millions.
The Dec. 27 jackpot beat Long Island’s previous top prize by about $6.1 million.